Monday, 16 March 2009

Monster Mittens

Here is a mitten I've been working on. The pattern is Bird in Hand by Kate Gilbert, so-called because a little bird is worked on the thumb. I adore this pattern - the swirling garlands and flowers...
... the snowflake-like palm with its own surprise flower...
... and I love the interplay of the colours I chose - the blue-y purple seems to lend the pale grey a lunar glow - I knitted this with the purple in my right hand and the grey in my left so the latter would stand out more. The yarn is Laines du Nord Dolly, and not only is it as soft as a kitten frolicking on a bed of angels' hair, but it is also imbued with happy memories of the shop where I bought it, tucked away down one of the twisty medieval lanes of central Genoa. 

I used wooden needles for the project so that I could take it on planes, so this mitten has been all over the place with me, garnering stories along the way. There was the air steward who asked me if I could stop knitting during take-off and landing in case I... at this point he mimed 'stabbing oneself through the heart with a knitting needle' (surely all the people using pens are in similar danger?). Then there was the old lady on the train back from Milan airport who was so mesmerised by the mitten that she decided I had to become friends with her daughter who, I discovered over the course of an awkward and protracted evening, was not a knitter but was a total mentalist. Yes, we've had some interesting times, this mitten and I.

As you may be able to see, it is very near completion. All I have left to do is to graft the top few stitches together and pick up and knit the thumb. Despite this, it has been languishing unfinished for quite some time. So what am I waiting for? Where are my skates, and why don't I get them on? Well...
... here is why.
Pretty early on I became aware that the mitten I was creating was not only waaaaaaaaaay too big for my wee hands, but quite possibly also too big for ANY HUMAN BEING. But there wasn't much I could do about this, as I don't have own smaller wooden needles, and couldn't find any in Genoa. So it was a choice between having nothing to knit while travelling (the horror) or continuing with these monsters. I have been on the look out for any chilly-fingered ogres who might be able to give them a good home, but my search has so far been fruitless, and anyway not in keeping with the Year of Selfish Knits. Sigh. I must confess that I have slightly lost my mitten mojo. If I were ever to be able to wear these myself I would have to unravel this one, re-knit it and knit it a sister, by which time it would probably be too warm for mittens. So I'm afraid it will continue in its dejected state, so near completion and yet so far from usability, for quite some time yet...


  1. I'll bet that if you "felt" that it will be a perfect fit!

  2. My 9 year old says it could be an oven-mitt.

    My 7 year old says it could be a hot-pad for resting hot casserole dishes on.

    My husband says it could be a gift-presentation bag for a bottle of chilled white wine.

    And I think it's just beautiful either way :-D


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